Monday, July 16, 2007

Media Socialists + GahmenBloggers + Librarians-In-Singapore meetup, 12th July 2007

Hmm... I forgot to blog about the meetup last Thursday, at Toa Payoh Community Library (7pm). Thanks to Vanessa who posted a summary at Websg.org.

The session was attended by a mix of folks from Media Socialists, the GahmenBloggers, and folks from the Librarians-In-Singapore group. The last time the GahmenBloggers met was back in October 2005 (wow, that long ago). There were also other new faces who didn't belong to any of this group.

I didn't manage to take down all the names, but good thing Siva did (he later explained it was a Mac Meetup habit of his). We were all there in our personal capacities of course:
Media Socialists/ Gahmen Bloggers - Kevin, Kenneth, Siva, Coleman, Vanessa, Walter, and myself

Gahmen Bloggers - Kelvin, Ai Lin, Victor (all three from NExus), Jason (who works at the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources), Ivan (who used to work for a government agency but now gets his pay from Yahoo! Singapore) -- GahmenBloggers

Librarians - Lynette (Music Library), Patrick (Tech Services), Su Yen (HSSL, ex-sci ref lib), Kah Ching (Central) - NUS Libraries; Hazman (NTU Libraries), Ivy (my colleague from National Library, who finally decided to come clean recently and openly associate herself with her blog, ha!)

Others - John Larkin (an Australian friend of Siva, who was in Singapore conducting some workshop for teachers), Harry (Educate Wandie's colleague), Iman (friend of Hazman from Wollongong Alumni)

We did the usual meetup thing and everyone introduced themselves. Quite a few said they were there to learn more about corporate blogging. I got the impression that they were on the brink of starting some new media initiatives and they wanted to learn and understand more from sessions like this.

I thought it started rather formal. Siva, in his own words, accused me for making the session formal just by being there, heh. But considering that quite a few were meeting each other for the first time, the flow of the conversation was quite good. No awkward pauses.

Well, at the beginning I tried a bit too hard to load lots of questions to the librarians there, so much so that Siva said "the librarians dominated the discussions". Heh, music to my ears.

I asked quite a bit about how NTU and NUS librarians got their New Media projects started. Seems that the push to start the projects came from the librarians; bottom-up. One of them candidly admitted that it helped when other similar libraries have started something.

Hazman has added the NTU blogs to the SG Social Media Directory page (Group; under 'N'). NUS Libraries hasn't got any up yet, but I think it should be soon.

John was nice enough to show us an impromptu demo of something called a "Swiki", i.e. a "Search Wiki", and how it could be incorporated into a blog. That got the group quite excited, in my opinion. I think everyone was either taking notes or glued to the screen.

Then I got a chance to show Archive.org. I was quite surprised some of the more experienced bloggers haven't really explored this resource.

Kevin then took the rest of the time to demonstrate Twitter, Jaiku and Pownce.

Someone commented to me later that from the meetup, he realised he ought to find a way to bring himself up to speed on the tech stuff. I thought it's not so much the "tech" stuff but the social software and social engagement aspects.

I was personally quite gratified to find the librarians and non-librarians engaged in discussions. The sharing was both ways. I think we librarians can use more of such informal sessions to interact with bloggers and social media practitioners.

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